Monday, 4 July 2016

Journal of Sport History: Stagg vs. Yost 'adds to our knowledge' of sports history

In the Spring 2016 issue of the Journal of Sport History (Volume 43, Number 1), Gerald R. Gems reviews Stagg. vs. Yost: The Birth of Cutthroat Football:

A professor of health and physical education at North Central College in Naperville, Ill., Gems says author John Kryk's work is "a worthwhile effort, with very noticeable research that covered several years in primary archival sources as well as secondary works and newspaper collections."

While Gems's assessment is that Kryk's "sentiments clearly lie with Yost and Michigan," Gems points out that Kryk's book "is not a hagiography.

"Kryk is intent on dismantling the stellar reputation enjoyed by Stagg, offering plenty of evidence that he was not the morally upright saint of amateurism that he and many historians have portrayed. In this respect, the book offers a good supplement to Robin Lester's seminal work, Stagg's University, a North American Society for Sport History book award winner.

"The final chapter offers helpful biographical sketches of players and principal characters, and the numerous photos and illustrations from the era add to the context. The presentation and discussion of the primary source materials shed light on the internecine quarrels of the athletic administrations, adding to our knowledge of the sporting past and its continuing influence on current events."

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